What editors will cover in IT in '08, value of PSAs, and more

"In our discussions with the IT editorial community, several trends became evident," notes PRSourceCode's Brent Papson.

IT in the media
What are the hot IT topics that editors plan to cover in 2008?

"In our discussions with the IT editorial community, several trends became evident," notes PRSourceCode's Brent Papson. He says to expect continued growth in technology, specifically related to mobile computing and wireless, Web 2.0 and social networking, VoIP and telecommunications, enterprise applications, and document and content management.

Healthcare, education, networking, financial services, and security will also be prevalent, adds Papson. Growing topics include green IT, data-center management, and virtualization.

"While newer additions to our radar, these categories have hundreds of feature opportunities scheduled for '08," he says.

"These 'hot' topics boast the highest feature counts within our system of more than 5,000 tech-related editorial opportunities for 2008," continues Papson. Many of the topics with high editorial opportunity counts also coincide with highest number of speaking and award opportunities.

"By focusing on these areas," he points out, "both individual corporations and agencies will be sure to see larger returns on PR efforts, bringing success in 2008."

Trade shows
How can we reduce the amount of staff or equipment at trade shows?

Organizations seeking to maximize their trade-show presence and budgets are turning to infographics to replace heavy equipment displays and large sales teams, says Lori Wilson of Funnel Incorporated.

"Infographics combine graphics and text to concisely tell a story," she notes. One infographic can summarize an entire process or complex service, in addition to its features and benefits. Whether reproduced in a presentation or as a wall graphic, the results can be really powerful.

An infographic's high utility also makes it a smart choice for trade shows. "Since these images can be reproduced in a variety of resolutions and sizes, infographics can be featured on table tops, in kiosks, on premiums, or exhibit signage to create a more branded, informative environment," Wilson adds.

In a sea of trinkets and glossy brochures, materials that respect the time and attention span of attendees in an engaging way will go a long way to differentiating an organization.

Given that the FCC no longer requires stations to run PSAs, are they still an effective way to get a message out?

PSAs are generated for on-air use by radio stations and/or networks to promote a specific social message aimed at increasing public awareness about a particular issue.

"Through PSAs, organizations can build and increase their image and stations can provide important information regarding compelling social issues to their audiences," says Lynn Harris Medcalf of News Generation.

In 1996, the FCC dropped the licensing requirement that mandated each station to provide substantial evidence of public service as a requirement of renewal. However, despite the fact that stations are no longer required to prove how they serve the public good, most stations still offer public service content to their listeners on a regular basis, she notes.

A recent study conducted by News Generation of PSA directors in the top 75 markets showed that 100% still have a PSA rotation, with the average station needing to fill 24 PSA slots in a typical week, states Medcalf.

"With this many slots to fill, organizations that provide timely, local, and compelling information in the format stations prefer will likely find their PSAs in rotation," she says.

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